Five Berkshire gastropubs have been named among the best in Britain.
The Beehive in White Waltham, The Loch and Tyne in Old Windsor and The Hind’s Head in Bray have all made the coveted ranks of the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub list.
Meanwhile The Miller of Mansfield in Goring on the Oxfordshire border came in at no.52 in the overall top 100 – but it comes as the couple behind its success are about to bid farewell to the venue.
The list is voted for by hundreds of experts and aficionados in the food and hospitality industries – including gastropub operators, food writers, top industry chefs, pub guide editors, according to the awards’ website.
Here are the Berkshire gastropubs that made the cut:
The Beehive, White Waltham
Place in list: 10
Judges describe this gem of a pub near Maidenhead as a “beautiful British country pub” with a “delicious” menu, fine wine list and great cask ales.
Head chef and owner Dominic Chapman was a contestant on The Great British Menu and is known for his menu of simple modern dishes and mantra of “feed you and make you happy”.
Standout dishes on the menu include Dorset snails with garlic butter, gorgonzola and grilled sourdough; lasagne of wild rabbit with wood blewits and chervil; rotolo of wild mushrooms, chestnuts, black cabbage, crisp sage and parmesan; and Comice pear and Poire Williams Bakewell Tart with crème fraiche ice cream.
The Loch and the Tyne, Old Windsor
Place in list: 27
A new entry on the list this year, judges say you “won’t be disappointed” with Adam Handling’s modern gastropub.
Dishes have included rabbit terrine with pease pudding; and Orkney scallop with leek and horseradish to start, followed by mains including potato with Jerusalem artichoke and white truffle; monkfish with chorizo and coleslaw; and roast halibut with pickled radish and dressed crab.
Classics on the menu include mac & cheese; beef lardo burger and fish & chips.
The guide says: “The venue offers everything you’d expect from a modern-day gastropub, including a private dining room and somewhere luxurious and comfortable to rest your head following a sumptuous feed.”
The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 list
1 The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge
2 Parkers Arms, Clitheroe
3 The Star Inn at Harome, Harome
4 The Angel at Hetton, Hetton
5 Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe
6 The Sportsman, Whitstable
7 The Guinea Grill, London
8 The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury
9 The Mariners, Rock
10 The Hand & Flowers, Marlow
11 The Beehive, White Waltham, Berkshire
12 The Kentish Hare, Bidborough
13 The Coach, Marlow
14 The Cornish Arms, Tavistock
15 The Harwood Arms, London
16 The Red Lion and Sun, London
17 The Pyne Arms, Barnstaple
18 The Rat Inn, Anick
19 The Broad Chare, Newcastle Upon Tyne
20 The Hardwick, Abergavenny
21 The Bull & Last, London
22 The Masons Arms, Knowstone
23 The Pipe and Glass, Barnsley
24 The Longs Arms, South Wraxall
25 The Swan, Bampton
26 The White Swan at Fence, Fence
27 The Loch and The Tyne, Old Windsor
28 The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne
29 The French House, Soho
30 The Moorcock, Norland Moor
31 The Shibden Mill Inn, Shibden
32 The Pack Horse, Hayfield
33 Heft, High Newton
34 The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
35 The Five Bells Inn, Cullompton
36 St Kew Inn, Bodmin
37 The Castle Inn, Castle Combe
38 The Canton Arms, Stockwell
39 The Higher Buck, Waddington
40 The Duck Inn, Pett Bottom
41 The Hovingham Inn, Yorkshire
42 The Plough, Coton
43 The Three Hills, Bartlow
44 The Hind’s Head, Bray
45 The Dog at Wingham, Wingham
46 The Bell Inn, Langford
47 The Black Bear Inn, Usk
48 The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton
49 The Bailiwick Free House, Egham Wick
50 The Cross, Kenilworth
The Hind’s Head, Bray
Place in list: 44
Heston Blumenthal’s one Michelin-starred gastropub is world-famous, and makes no. 44 in this year’s list.
The judges note that: “The Hind’s Head lives up to its surroundings, merging classic British style and food with Heston’s modern thinking.”
Mains have included oxtail and kidney pudding with oxtail sauce; cauliflower macaroni with slow cooked hen’s egg, brioche crumb and smoked salt; and roast cod with greens, cider butter sauce and caviar.
The Bailiwick Free House, Egham Wick
Place in list: 49
On the border of Berkshire and Surrey and located on the gates of the Windsor Great Park, judges say diners at the Bailiwick Free House will “find some of the best food they’ve ever eaten”.
The a la carte and a tasting menu has boasted dishes including pig trotter terrine with apple, black pudding and sauce gribiche; wild mushroom tartlet with mushroom ketchup, confit egg yolk and 36-month aged parmesan; and corned beef from cured aged beef cap with pickled vegetables and English mustard to start.
It’s all led by chef Steven Ellis, while desserts are in very safe hands with his wife Ami, who judges note is a “top-notch pastry chef who pumps out some of the best desserts in the gastropub world”.
The Miller of Mansfield, Goring
Place in list: 52
Judges described The Miller of Mansfield as a “true gem of a pub featuring some standout nosh and drinks”.
The 18th Century venue has been run by Mary and Nick Galer since 2014, with standout dishes from the menu including confit duck pressing with spiced pear, lovage mayo and pickled red onions; grilled Cornish brill on the bone with tarragon gnocchi, spring cabbage and fennel and ajo blanco sauce; and 72% chocolate custard with streusel biscuit, raspberries and a cocoa tuile.
However the pub’s inclusion on the list comes as Mary and Nick are saying goodbye to the venue.
In an interview with The Caterer, they said the future of the venue was in limbo after a rent increase and revised lease term.
Let us know about your favourite Berkshire gastropub in the comments below
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